What the investigation involves
PFOS and PFOA are both very stable chemicals that bioaccumulate, do not break down, and can persist for a long time in the environment. Due to their widespread use in a range of industrial and consumer products over many decades PFAS contamination is commonly found in the environment at low levels.
The EPA is investigating sites where there is a likelihood that large quantities of PFAS have been used in the past, to better understand the extent of PFAS use and contamination in NSW. This way the EPA will be better prepared to respond if any health and environmental impacts become known.
The initial focus is on sites where there has been known use of PFAS-containing fire-fighting foams, primarily where fire training exercises were conducted. This includes sites managed by NSW Fire and Rescue (FRNSW), Rural Fire Service (RFS), Airservices Australia and other airports.